Calcium is a promising treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). All studies done on calcium and premenstrual symptoms have shown that it provides symptom relief. In the largest study, the women took 1,200 mg per day and had a nearly 50% reduction in their symptoms. Some women in this study who were taking a placebo had a 30% reduction in symptoms (which shows the power of positive thinking!).
A scientific study showed that women have lower calcium levels the week before their period than the week after their period. That could indicate that PMDD symptoms are partly due to low calcium levels. Also, the symptoms of people with low calcium levels were the same as the symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
There is some evidence that women with a premenstrual disorder, such as PMDD, have lower bone mass. This has not been shown to be related to calcium, but it has also not been shown to be NOT related. Considering that most women only get half the recommended daily allowance, a supplement would help protect your bones as you age.
Since there is evidence that it helps relieve premenstrual symptoms and might be an effective treatment for PMDD, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Calcium supplements are generally safe and widely used. Be aware that too much protein, oxalic acid (found in green leafy vegetables), and alcohol inhibit calcium absorption. So don’t overdo it in any of these areas.
Dosage for PMDD treatment:
- Take 900-1200 mg / day. You need to distribute this in 2-3 doses as your body can only absorb 500mg at a time. (The toxic level of calcium is 2500 mg / day).
- It should be taken with food, however, not high in fiber. Fiber binds to calcium and prevents your body from absorbing it.
- There are two types of supplements you can take: calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, which is less irritating to your digestive system if you have a sensitive stomach.
- You will need to take it for at least three months before you can begin to notice an improvement in your symptoms.
Calcium supplements reduce the effectiveness of some medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline and the anticonvulsant phenytoin (also known as Dilantin). Talk to your doctor if you take any of these or if you have problems with your parathyroid gland, kidney stones, or kidney disease. Stop taking it if you start to have severe constipation, nausea, excessive fatigue, or a lot of urine output.